Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Carolina Wrens readily take to artificial sites when building a nest. Yes, they will use bird houses, but they will also build their own structure on things like wreaths, shelves and hanging baskets. My wife and I no sooner put up hanging baskets this year than the pair of wrens that hang around our house started construction of a nest.
I think Wrens are my favorite out of all the birds. They exhibit cheerfulness, curiosity, fearlessness and more. They are monogamous, not just for a season, but for life and you almost never see one without the other. If they are not within eyesight of one another, they stay in touch through constant calling back and forth.
The nest these two have constructed is made up mainly of dried grasses although they will also use bark, hair if available, and even snake skins that have been sloughed off. They build a little cave-like arched nest with an entrance in the side.
The male will normally bring in nesting material while the female remains at the site and constructs the nest. There is no difference in the appearance of the male and female, so there is no way to tell which is which in this photo.
The wren is in the shadow of the car in the driveway. They often fly there first and make sure it is safe to continue on to the nest. This is probably the male and he picked up some squiggly things that fall from the trees this time of year.
I thought they had perhaps abandoned the nest because after appearing to have finished the nest, we didn't see them for a few days. Then, one day my wife watered the hanging basket and startled the female who flew away. She looked in the nest and there were five little eggs there. It takes around twelve days to hatch the eggs and another twelve days or so until the chicks are fledged.
Here is a site I found that has photos of nests and eggs - including the Carolina Wren: http://www.thebirdersreport.com/egg-and-nest-identification. (highlight>copy>paste)